Essential

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Dysfunctional Poetry
It’s nice to know that someone thinks I’m essential

Submitted: March 24, 2020

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Submitted: March 24, 2020

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It's been a strange fucking morning, not in any profound way, but in all of the little, subtle ways that make me more nervous than I might normally be. 

 

It started out with a dream where I was tasked with dismantling a three-story Christmas village type thing, filled with merchandise and displays.

 

In this dream, apparently, I had been reassigned... assigned to a different department from the Operations Department, where I normally work.  Maybe across the street at the Mill Casino? 

 

In the dream there was a diminutive elfin type of person assisting me, or indirectly directing me in my activities as I set about dismantling shelves and fixtures. She handed me a spring loaded tool of some kind. 

 

“Here, take this.” she said. “If you can use it, use it. If not...hang on to it. You might be able to use it later.”

 

The reason I think I may have been at the Mill Hotel/Casino is because I remember wondering if I should ask to be reassigned with Duke,(my current supervisor), because I mentioned to someone “we worked together across the street.”  I decided that it was probably best just to take whatever work came my way.  It didn’t seem like a situation where I wanted to appear to be too picky.

 

I began to take apart shelves and dowels, and put the spring tool into my pocket.

 

Looking around at all of the merchandise and glass display cases filled with soft goods, I said “this is gonna be a piece of cake. We’re gonna need to find some boxes for this stuff.”

 

My petite partner and I set out in search of a six-wheeler cart and boxes.  Oddly enough, all of the wheel carts seemed to be in use by other people. I locate one stashed in a stairwell and take it.  As I am headed back to my job, some supervisor type guy comes along and tells me “you’re lucky that you found that one”, also explaining the added benefits of the particular piece of hardware which I have in my possession... kind of an adaptable, adjustable, scale ability feature of the cart that I had found. That’s all that I remember about that part of the day.

 

Yeah, that’s not weird. At ALL. 

 

Next up was the drive to work. On a day as cold and gray as a corpse found floating in the bay, I got into the truck and the first song out of the speakers was Oingo Boingo’s “Dead Man’s Party”. 

 

I was struck by lighting, walkin' down the street

I was hit by something last night in my sleep

It's a dead man's party who could ask for more?

Everybody's comin', leave your body at the door

Leave your body and soul at the door”

 

It’s only 6:45 in the morning and I’m already getting a headache. Not a run of the mill headache either.  One of those acid flashback headaches like someone has wedged an icepick in the lambdoid suture between the occipital and parietal bones of my skull. One of those.

 

Driving along Broadway,  it strikes me that for every set of taillights on the road ahead of me, or headlights coming up behind me, there are ten sets of brights headed in the opposite direction.  Do they know something that I don’t?  Hell, probably they do. Most people got more going on upstairs than I do on any given morning. I’m just not a morning person, that’s all.

 

I’m on my way to work in the midst of the largest global pandemic in modern history; when whole countries have been put on lock down, when commercial airlines have voluntarily stopped flying...AROUND THE WORLD, when the National Guard has been called out in three U.S. states to maintain order because people are too stupid to stay shuttered up in their homes for their own safety and well being. I’m on the road this morning because, for reasons beyond my limited comprehension, my position in the mart of human commerce has been deemed “essential”.  Whoda thunkit?

 

Personally, I think that’s a mistake. Me? Essential?! Uhhhh-huh. I mean, one of my recent days was spent sweeping prodigious amounts of rat droppings out of a warehouse.  In what universe is cleaning up rat crap an essential service? No, don’t. Rhetorical question.

 

So I continue on to work. I push papers through a computer screen for the first part of the day. I move stuff from one place to another after lunch. Before I leave for the day, I gather together with my “essential” coworkers and discuss what fun and games we’re gonna get up to tomorrow. And you know what? It’s all good. That’s how us essentials roll.

 

Tomorrow is another day. We’ll have to see what manner of strangeness unfolds tomorrow.

 


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